The Japanese government has agreed a plan to use taxpayers’ money to compensate victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and to prevent the Tokyo Electric Power Company from collapse.
The country’s Minister for the Economy, Banri Kaida, said “The purpose of the scheme decided this time is not to bail out Tokyo Electric Power, but to respond to those who have been affected by this nuclear disaster so that they are properly compensated.”
The plan is for the government to issue 62 billion dollars-worth of special bonds into the compensation scheme. Bank shares immediately fell over uncertainty about the eventual cost to utilities.
The problems are not yet over at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima plant. Experts suspect there is a new radiation leak into the sea from reactor number three. A similar leak at reactor number two was eventually sealed.